Optimizing Your Cash Flow Strategy Using Purchase Orders

Jan 10, 2022 | Basic 101: Introduction to procurement

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Jan 10, 20223 min read

Purchase orders can significantly impact a business's cash flow by improving sales and liquidity, securing better terms with vendors, and helping manage cash flow more effectively. Get a comprehensive procurement platform to simplify and automate purchase order creation for better cash flow management.

Cash flow is the lifeblood of many businesses. It's essential for paying the bills, replenishing inventory, and making sure your business operates smoothly. But in order to manage a healthy cash flow, it's important to understand the impact of purchase orders on the process. In this article, we will discuss the implications of purchase orders when considering cash flow, as well as look at how to incorporate this system into your strategy. 

Understanding the Impact of Purchase Orders on Cash Flow 

According to a study by PwC, late payments can negatively impact the cash flow of up to 60% of small and medium-sized businesses. Furthermore, a report by Atradius found that global businesses are losing $1.5 trillion annually due to late payments.  

When considering the impact of purchase orders on cash flow, it's important to understand the difference between purchase order and invoice financing. Purchase order financing is a type of lending activity used to finance the purchase of goods or services by providing financial assistance to a supplier when an order is placed. This type of financing typically involves collateral and a repayment plan, which is usually structured based on the sales and profits generated from the associated order. 

The primary advantage of purchase order financing is that it helps businesses secure immediate financing when they need it. This improves their cash flow and allows them to capitalize on potential sales opportunities, as they don't have to wait for payment until later. Furthermore, it enables businesses to fund large orders or purchase expensive materials, which can help them secure better deals through bulk discounts or special offers. 

In addition, purchase order financing can help businesses manage their cash flow more effectively. By providing immediate access to funds, businesses can avoid the need to wait for payment from customers, which can help them maintain a healthy cash flow. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that are just starting out, as it can help them manage their cash flow more efficiently and ensure that they have the funds they need to grow their business. 

Analyzing the Effect of Purchase Orders on Cash Flow 

The effect of purchase orders on cash flow can be seen in several different ways. Firstly, they help businesses close sales more quickly, as they don't have to wait for funds from customers. Furthermore, purchase orders can help improve liquidity, as businesses can pay their suppliers and vendors in advance for goods and services – without having to wait for customer payment. In addition, businesses can more efficiently manage cash flow by throwing in incentives, such as discounts on large orders, to generate faster payments from customers. 

It's also important to note that purchase orders can help businesses negotiate better terms with vendors. For instance, by securing pre-payment for goods and services, a business can secure more favorable terms such as better discounts or payment terms. This can then lead to improved cash flow through discounts that lower operating expenses. 

Incorporating Purchase Orders into Your Cash Flow Strategy 

The key to effectively utilizing purchase orders to support cash flow is to make sure they are properly incorporated into your overall cash flow strategy. To do this, businesses should take a proactive approach and look to negotiate favorable payment terms with vendors and suppliers. In addition, businesses should always look for ways to leverage existing buyers or suppliers in order to secure discounts or better terms. On FactWise, an end-to-end comprehensive procurement platform for small and medium sized product manufacturers, purchase order creation is simplified and can be automated to ensure accuracy and efficiency. With our holistic supplier analytics and RfX management analytics, teams can negotiate lower costs and payment terms to maximize their cash flow. 

It's also important to ensure that purchase orders are used in alignment with other internal financial processes and systems. This can be done by establishing detailed procedures for when purchase orders should be generated and tracked. For example, if a company has an automated invoicing system in place, then it's important that purchase orders are used in conjunction with it to ensure timely payment. 

In conclusion, proper management of purchase orders can have a significant effect on a business’s cash flow. By understanding its impact on cash flow and taking a proactive approach to incorporating this system into their strategy, businesses can drive significant efficiencies while improving liquidity and freeing up working capital. 

FactWise source-to-pay increases savings by up to 25% and efficiency by up to 20%. FactWise is committed to transforming the procurement journey for buyers and suppliers globally. 

About the Author

Stawan is the founder and CEO of FactWise. Before founding FactWise, Stawan was the NA TMT-Procurement Leader at McKinsey. Passionate about procurement, Stawan has 15 years’ experience in enabling clients of all sizes to achieve business impact via procurement.


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